The Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria has voiced its discontentment over the scarcity and poor state of cocoa storage facilities in the world’s fourth largest cocoa producer, a factor it said has put the sector’s losses in the past year at about 20 percent.
Adeola Adegoke, national president of the association, explained that, although the group has been supplied with some storage facilities in recent times, the supplies have been inadequate to store the number of cocoa products produced by the farmers.
As a result, he explained that some of the farmers, especially those in the rural communities, have resorted to storing their products in their homes inside polythene bags and other crude materials, a development he described as counterproductive in terms of quality control and supply management.
Adegoke further averred that the lack of secured storage facilities has resulted in increased cases of burglary and theft, which has consequently led to huge losses for the farmers.
“Most of these incidents occur in local communities wherein some thieves break into some farmers houses to steal some of these cocoa products that the farmers have already stored for sale or the finishing process,” he explained.
To address the situation, he urged the federal government to map out strategic ways to provide more facilities and also ensure that facilities made available are controlled by members of the farmers’ cooperatives who have a thorough understanding of the business and its mode of operation.